Family Guy’s Mike Henry quits as Cleveland Brown to give role to ‘person of colour’

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Mike Henry has stepped down from his role as the voice of Cleveland Brown on Family Guy after 20 years.

Henry said the role should go to a ‘person of colour’ as he broke the news to fans.

In a statement on Twitter, he shared: “It’s been an honour to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of colour should play characters of colour. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”

Henry has been a regular on the animated sitcom since it first aired in 1999.

He previously claimed he developed the voice of Cleveland after being inspired by one of his friend’s regional accents.

“I played basketball with this guy and his voice just stuck in my head,” Henry told reporters.

As well as voicing Cleveland, Henry also voiced the character of Latina maid Consuela.

When The Cleveland Show spin-off was launched in 2009, Henry also took on the role of Cleveland’s black stepson Rallo Tubbs.

The series received mixed reviews from critics and was axed in 2013 after four seasons.

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has yet to respond to news of Henry’s departure but did re-tweet his statement to his 14million Twitter followers.

Henry’s decision comes after a number of white actors took the decision to step down from voicing black characters on animated series in the last few months.

In January Hank Azaria said he will no longer voice the character of Indian migrant Apu on The Simpsons following years of controversy and accusations of racism.

This was followed with Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate quitting their respective roles in Central Park and Big Mouth where they voiced black characters.

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